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So you have been going to salsa lessons for a while now and it’s your first time to go to a social dance party, or perhaps you’ve been dragged along with a friend and you’re not sure what to wear.
Below are some helpful tips on what to wear that can be translated to your personal style.
I’d like to say, first of all – there are no rules for what you have to wear or not, however there are some special tips and guidelines to keep you looking and feeling good – and dancing all night!
If you’re going to a Latin dance party, and while we want you to be comfortable in your clothes, chances are you will need to dress up a little, first thing to do is check if there is a theme. Salsa parties usually range from smart-casual to a little glamourous, so it will be your choice on how you’d like to present yourself. We love to see your individual style and you are going to dance your best when you wear something that suits your body and makes you feel good.
The main thing purpose of your outfit when you go dancing is to make you feel great!
Shoes are the most important part of your outfit for the party night – Choose a shoe with a smooth sole, it is ideal for spins and turns on the dance floor and will help you dance better (It’s true)! Make sure your shoes are comfortable to wear for over an hour, chances are you’ll be dancing for 1-5 hours (and sometimes even more!) Testing them out a little at home or in your dance classes will help you decide if they are comfortable enough or not.
FOR THE LADIES – High heels make an outfit look great, but can cause us ladies a lot of pain. If you are used to wearing heels I would recommend heels of 2-3.5 inches, but no higher, wearing higher heels than this restricts the foot and ankle movement, but make sure you practice dancing in them in the classes because it’s a totally different feelings from flats or heels.
Flats are perfectly acceptable especially if you don’t like to wear heels, perhaps you want bring a pair of flats to rest your feet at the end of the night!
Open or closed shoe, either way, choose a pair with a strap or tie to prevent injury from your feet from slipping around or shoes falling off (it can happen)!
Should I buy proper dance shoes?
If you intend to dance once a week or more for more than six weeks, YES! Latin dance shoes are made for dancing long hours & are more comfortable usually than “normal shoes”.
FOR THE GENTLEMEN – a smooth sole such as a dress shoe or dance shoe, please avoid sneakers/trainers, and unless you are dancing in a show, leave the Cuban heels at home.
Choosing the best outfit can depend on how you like to dance and party!
If you are one who wants to be dancing just about every song all night, then you’ll want to take a couple of notes from this part.
General tips for everyone include wearing darker coloured or patterned clothes this is because they won’t show sweat marks so obviously, check the type of material that you wear to see if it dries quickly (cotton and natural fibres are usually best), alternatively you can bring a change of shirt.
Make sure you have free range of motion with you arms and legs, so gives a little practice at home or in the changing room to see if your outfit will work.
And remember to bring a jacket or coat incase you get cold when you leave the salsa party, it will be hot after you’ve been dancing so any temperature drop is not so good for your body. If it’s cold, you can always wear layers and take them off when you warm up!
LADIES can wear pretty much anything – dresses, skirts, shorts, shirts and blouses, jeans and leggings (avoid active wear though).
For dresses, medium to knee length dresses are ideal but make sure they are not so tight that they restrict your leg movements (ie. no pencil skirts) try stretchy bodycon and shifts dresses for example, be careful with very short dress remember they can ride up while you want and dance.
A-line skirts and dresses look great as well, but a great tip is to wear matching little booty shorts or tights underneath so that you a safe when you’re spinning around. If you are wearing anything backless or with lots of skin showing make sure you take some time to towel off in the bathroom.
FOR THE GENTS – formal trousers, polo shirts or jeans with a nice or collared shirt will be fine. You can wear a suit jacket to complete your look but remember too keep it dark coloured and it will be hot when you dance so you should wear a smart shirt underneath so you can take it off and cool down. You can try a hat if you can pull it off but remember it will add to the heat.
Usually men don’t wear shorts in the parties, unless it’s a beach party.
Glasses – be careful when wearing your glasses at salsa parties, it’s is very easy for glasses to be knocked off and stepped on by accident unless you are an experienced dancer I wouldn’t risk it. If you can wear contact lenses, try to keep your glasses safe.
Ladies, we are accessory queens but during salsa we have to be a little more choosey while we are putting together our outfits. To avoid injury to yourself and your partner, be careful with accessories like hoop earrings as it’s quite easy for a finger or hand to pull out of your ear and cause damage, choose earrings that come out easily but stay on securely.
The same goes for bell sleeves or flowy outfits, fingers and hands can easily get caught during the many routines and styles you both do. I would also try to avoid wearing any expensive accessories, as you can lose an earring or a pendant very easily in the heat of the moment and it’s hard to find them again on a full dance floor.
Guys, avoid wearing your watches – it’s too easy to hurt your partner or scratch or lose it during the party so better off to keep them at home!